COVID-19 Test to Release

What is Covid-19 Test to Release?

Test to Release is a government scheme to enable people arriving in the England to reduce the amount of time for which they must self isolate. Doctap are a UKAS registered Test to Release provider.

Anyone who arrives in England from outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man needs to self-isolate for 10 days.  Under the Test to Release scheme, you can choose to pay for a private Covid-19 coronavirus test after you have been in England for 5 full days. For instance, if you arrive in the UK on Monday then Tuesday would be your first full day in the UK, and you cannot take the test before Saturday.

If the test result is negative then you can stop self-isolating immediately.

How to take advantage of Test to Release

  1. Book a Covid-19 Test to Release appointment for 5 full days after you arrive in England. You should book your test before you travel to England.  You can choose from same day or next day results and if they are negative you can stop self isolating right away.
  2. You will be asked to fill in a passenger locator form before you enter the UK.  This can be completed any time in the 48 hours prior to arrival.  You will need to enter your DocTap Test to Release reference number which will be in the subject of your DocTap booking confirmation email.

Should you wish to take part in the scheme after arriving in the UK then you can do, but you will need to fill in another passenger locator form.

Please note that Test to Release is not available to arrivals from certain high risk countries.  Please see the latest list of countries here.

Quarantine Guarantee

We understand how frustrating it is to have to quarantine on arrival into the UK, which is why all samples are taken by a healthcare professional and taken directly to the laboratory by our own couriers.  We do not do postal tests and only work with the most reliable and efficient laboratories.  Should you not receive your Test to Release results by the quoted time we shall refund your Test to Release fee in full and offer you an express re-test free of charge.

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Test to Release Tests

Test Price Results
Test to Release PCR Next Day from £59 Next day (by midnight)

Reduce your quarantine with guaranteed next day results (by midnight), or your money back.

Test to Release PCR Same Day from £99 By midnight

Maximise the benefit of Test to Release with same day results. In the exceptionally unlikely event that your results are not back by midnight, we would refund you test fee in full and provide a retest if required.

Book a Covid-19 test

Why Choose DocTap Covid-19 Testing?

Widest range of Tests
20+ London clinics
Covid-19 tests from £39
4 hour PCR results
Doctor's certificate included
Money back results guarantee
Over 200,000 tests completed
Government approved provider

Test to Release - FAQ

test to release

You can book your test to release test as far in advance as you wish. Please note that the appointment date must be at least 5 full days from when you arrive in England. Please book your test before you travel to England.  This is so that you can enter the details of your test when you opt into the scheme on the passenger locator form.  If you decide to participate in the scheme after you have arrived in England, you will need to complete another passenger locator form.

The list of countries not available for Test and Release varies regularly.  Please see the latest list of banned countries on the government's website.

If your Covid-19 test is positive then you will be required to self-isolate for another 10 days. Count the 10 days starting from the day you took the test, or from when you first had symptoms if that is earlier.

People you are living or staying with should also self-isolate for 10 days from the date of your positive test.

No. The Test to Release scheme only applies to people travelling to England.

day 2 and 8

You need to get tested for COVID-19 if you’re arriving in England from abroad. The test you will need to take depends on whether you are vaccinated and where you are arriving from. Children under 5 do not need to get tested on arrival. 

Fully vaccinated passengers and most under 18s arriving from non red-list countries will now require a day 2 PCR test, and to isolate until they receive a negative result (children do not need to quarantine). Full details on who is considered fully vaccinated can be found here. You can book our same day Day 2 PCR test so that you do not isolate any longer than necessary.

Non-vaccinated arrivals are required to quarantine for 10 days, and take a day 2 PCR test + a day 8 PCR test. There is the option to come out of quarantine earlier (day 5), if you book a Test to release PCR test.

If you are arriving from red list travel ban country then you will to have quarantine in a government approved hotel and take a postal test.  Otherwise you can take your Day 2 and 8 tests with DocTap.

You need to book a day 2 and 8 tests if you are a non-vaccinated returning traveller. If you are fully vaccinated, you will only need a Day 2 PCR test (from £59). You can book a same day result for £99.

If you are not fully vaccinated, for added flexibility, we sell Day 2 and 8 tests separately at £59 each.  If you book them both at the same time you will pay £118.  For an additional £59 you can add on a next day Test to Release and / or outbound PCR test.  Or for £99 you could upgrade these to same day results. 

Our Day 2 & 8 tests are taken by a healthcare professional at one of our London test centres.  We do not do postal tests and use our own courier to transport samples to the laboratory.  All tests are covered by our Quarantine Guarantee to ensure that you don't have to spend a minute more self isolating than is legally required.

If you are fully vaccinated, you must take a day 2 PCR test. Your Day 2 test must be taken between day 0 and day 2 of quarantine (day 0 is the day you arrive in England). You may choose to book your Day 2 PCR before you travel, either on its own, or as a combination package with your fit to fly test.

If you are a non-vaccinated traveller, you will be required to take a Day 2 PCR test and a Day 8 PCR Test. Your Day 8 test must be taken on or after day 8 of arrival in the UK. You will have the option for Test to release on day 5. 

Example: If you arrived on Monday, your Day 2 test can be done on the Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.  Your Day 8 can be done on or after the following Tuesday.  We would advise you do not delay your Day 8 test as you are not allowed to end your 10 day quarantine unless you have received a negative Day 8 test result. 



We are aware how frustrating it would be to have to continue self isolating after the mandatory quarantine period because one or both of your tests was delayed or lost in the post. For this reason we only provide in person tests and only work with the fastest and most reliable laboratories.  This enables us to offer the following guarantees:

  • If your day 2 PCR and Test to Release results are not back by the advised time we will refund your fee in full and arrange a re-test free of charge.
  • Book a Day 2 and Test to Release test with DocTap, and if either result is not back by the advised Test to Release deadline we will refund the cost of your Test to Release and arrange an express re-test free of charge.
  • If your Day 8 test results are not back by the following evening (day 9) we shall arrange a free same day re-test the next morning so you can stop self isolating at the end of 10 day as normal.

bookings

We are pleased to have the widest range and best priced Covid-19 tests of any London clinic.  Please visit the booking page for a full list of tests, prices and availability.  Some of our most popular tests are:

  • PCR Test (next day by midnight) - from £59
  • PCR Test (same day) - from £99
  • Antigen Test - from £29
  • Antibody Test - from £45

All tests are booked online here. Simply select Covid-19 Coronavirus Test / Fit to Fly.  Then choose the type of test which you require and it will show you all the clinic locations and times you can book. Different clinics offer different types of test, so you may wish to select a couple of different test types to find the most convenient location for you. PCR tests cost from £129 and point of care tests from £59. 

Should you require multiple tests for your trip then please book them all individually.  A £30 per test discount will automatically be applied to your 2nd and subsequent tests.

Our tests are carried out at one of our 10+ London clinics, staffed by healthcare professionals.  To select a location, simply visit the booking page and select Covid-19 Coronavirus Test / Fit to Fly.  Choose the type of test which you require and it will show you all the available clinic locations and times. Different clinics offer different types of test, so you may wish to select a couple of different test types to find the most convenient location for you.

You can change your test free of charge or cancel for a full refund so long as you have not yet taken the test.  We are not able to make changes or refunds after you have taken the test.  To change or cancel your test please log into your DocTap account. 

Please Note: Day 2 and Day 8 are mandatory tests and therefore non-refundable. However, we can change your appointment date/time/location if required.

Simply book a test for the first member of your party.  Then repeat the process for another test, but on the payment screen enter the details of the second person.  Repeat for any other members of your party.

If you have accidentally booked multiple tests for the same person then don't worry, you will receive an automated email checking that this is what you wanted.  To make a change simply reply to the email with the second person's details. Please ensure we have the correct details before you take your test.

results and certificates

Different tests have different turnaround times.  These are explained at the time that you book your Covid-19 test.  You will receive your results and doctor's letter by email within the specified timeframe.  They will also be available to download from your DocTap portal at the same time.  We currently offer the following options for results:

  • PCR - Same day by 2am
  • PCR - Next day by midnight
  • Antigen fit to fly - 1 hour
  • Antibody (Instant) - 3 hours
  • Antibody (laboratory) - 3 days

Unfortunately we are unable to speed up your results once you have taken your test.  Therefore, if you need faster results, please change your appointment type to a faster service before taking the test. You can do this in your DocTap account portal.

After taking your test you will receive an email explaining all the notifications you will receive as your test sample moves through the testing process, together with when can expect to receive them.  These vary a little depending on the exact test and location booked, but they are typically:

  • Your test is collected by our courier to take to the laboratory
  • The lab start testing your sample
  • Your results are ready

If you have not received a notification by the advised time then please do let us know and we shall look into it immediately.  If the notification is not yet due then please don't contact us as it will almost certainly still be being processed and we are unable to check up on tests until they are due.

No, you will still get your results in exacly the same timeframe, regardless of which day of the week  you have your test. Our laboratories and support team operate 7 days per week, including bank holidays.

Once you have taken your test we are unable to speed up your results. We have integrated with our laboratory partners to ensure that you will automatically receive your results and doctor's certificate as soon a they are released by the laboratory.  If you have not yet taken your test, you can always change to a faster test if required.  We can provide results in 4 hours from our Islington and Chelsea lab sites (not available for day 2 PCR or Test to release), and by 2am that night from multiple London locations. To change your test please log into your DocTap acccount.

test details and timings

Our tests are taken by a healthcare professional, however in some cases, you can perform a clinic-guided self-swab where applicable. PCR tests require a swab to be taken from the back of your throat and/or nose. Lateral flow tests require a swab from nose and/or throat. The testing procedure can be a little uncomfortable but should not hurt. 

No. We are only able to offer tests for patient who do not have symptoms of Covid-19. You will be asked to confirm this on booking.  If you have symptoms please book an NHS test.

PCR is the PHE approved, gold standard Covid-19 test.  This is a SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) reverse transcriptase real-time PCR swab. Whilst we are not aware of any countries not accepting our tests for border entry, please always check your exact requirements before booking.

When attending your appointment, please bring your booking reference number (in your confirmation email) and official, government-issue photo identification.  Your ID needs to match the name that the booking is under.

No.  We legally have to capture additional information such as your travel history and self isolation address for Day 2 & 8 and Test to Release bookings. You will be asked for this information on the final step on the booking page.  Therefore, it is essential that you choose the appropriate appointment rather than just a PCR test when you book your test.

Our experienced healthcare professionals can carry out Covid-19 tests on young children. In some instances, the child may feel more comfortable if their parent performs the test. In this case, our healthcare professionals will be able to assist and guide the parent to take a swab from the child.

No. Given the critical importance of fast results and correct swab technique we do not entrust your test sample to the postal system.  All samples are taken in one of our 10+ London locations.  We then have our team of in house couriers who collect them to take to the laboratory. In this way we are confident we can offer the highest level of accuracy and reliability for your Covid test.

Book a Covid-19 Test

Please note that our provision of Covid-19 coronavirus tests does not impact on NHS test availability, instead, by providing the tests at competitive prices compared with other providers, our service aims to work as a helpful adjunct to the NHS by increasing testing options in the community. We also report all positive results to Public Health England, and this is obligatory.

Important note: where patients are taking a self swab they must do as directed in the instructions provided.  Failure to take a swab as directed, or to take a swab on behalf of someone else is a gross breach of the terms of this service.

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